Prisoner of Conscience Released After Nine Months of “Temporary Detention” At Deplorable Facility
Nine months after her arrest, the lawyer and prisoner of conscience Negar Haeri was released on bail of about US$580,000 on February 25, 2015. She spent her entire time in prison since her May 2014 arrest on “temporary detention orders.
During “temporary detention” in Iran, prisoners may be held without access to a lawyer while preliminary investigations are underway. However, such detentions are frequently extended in the case of political prisoners, and used to hold such individuals for prolonged periods without access to counsel.
Negar Haeri was arrested on charges of “propaganda against the state,” and “publishing falsehoods through interviews with foreign media” on May 25, 2014, and transferred to the Gharchak Prison in Varamin, notorious for its deplorable conditions. She had given interviews to Rooz Online website and Voice of America Persian service about the health conditions of her imprisoned father inside Shahid Rajaee Prison, and his need for medical attention outside prison. The interviews comprised the basis of her arrest.
As a lawyer, Ms. Haeri had tried to take on her father’s legal representation in 2009, but her lawyer’s permit was suspended for “representing a member of the MEK.” Ms. Haeri’s father, Masha’allah Haeri, has been in prison since 2009 on charges of supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalgh (MEK) Organization.
Prior to her May 2014 arrest, Negar Haeri had been twice arrested. She was first arrested on 2011, on charges of “supporting the MEK Organization,” and was detained inside Shapur Investigative Police detention center for 34 days, and then in solitary confinement inside Gharchak and Evin Prisons for several months, before she was released on bail.
Security agents arrested her for the second time on May 1, 2012, again on charges of “supporting the MEK.”. Branch 26 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Pirabbasi sentenced her to one year in prison, the enforcement of which would be suspended for five years.
“Negar has no political tendencies. Her only problem is that her uncle, brother, and father are supporters of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh, and she is paying a price for their political beliefs. In fact it appears she has been arrested in order to put pressure on her family this way,” a source who is knowledgeable about Negar Haeri’s case told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran on February 19, 2015.
The source had further expressed concern about Ms. Haeri’s poor physical and psychological state during her nine-month detention period inside Gharchak Prison in Varamin.